Thoreau’s Voice by S.E. Rena

To the Editor of the Transcript:

In the article on “Thoreau’s Uncle Peter” in the Saturday Transcript, the writer wonders “if Henry retained in his voice any note of the island music.” Most emphatically yes. He played with much expression on his flute, and in his early years sang in a pleasing voice, although he had no special training in music. After his brother’s death he could not be induced to sing. The musical quality of his voice made him a charming reader. He often came to my father’s house to read a new poem or description that pleased him; and those that had ever listened could never forget the pleasur eof such occasions. Doubtless his musical ability gave him the power to imitate bird notes so closely that the feathered songsters would answer to his call, and perhaps helped him to a keener perception of the sweetness of a life lived in harmonious accord with nature’s laws.

Feb. 12                                                                                                        S.E. Rena


The Boston Transcript (12 February 1895)